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Los Angeles Public Radio Station KPCC to Change Name to LAist

The switch, which will take effect within weeks, aims to resolve ”brand confusion“ at Southern California Public Radio

Los Angeles’ FM public radio station, KPCC, will rename itself LAist 89.3, the station’s management announced Tuesday.

The change will take place in the coming weeks and comes as part of a wider move by Southern California Public Radio to end “brand confusion” across its properties, including digital news site LAist, which it bought in 2018.

The company also operates as LAist on social media and has a podcast production arm, LAist Studios.

Part of the confusion with the two names was that it forced Southern California Public Radio’s staff of journalists to identify themselves as working for both KPCC and the digital news site, the Los Angeles Times reported. The network has a staff of around 200 and more than 600,000 listeners across its channels.

The station is not making programming changes. It will still air its usual mix of National Public Radio programming, plus local news and on-air personalities.

The LAist name change will also apply to Southern California Public Radio’s four other regional radio stations.

“LAist kind of says what we’re about,” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Herb Scannell told the Times. “We’re L.A.-centric. We serve greater L.A. If you’re an ‘LAist,’ you’re an enthusiast of L.A. You want some guidance on how to navigate L.A. — a big sprawling city, right? You want to be connected to other people, and you want to discover things in L.A.”

Scannell added in a statement received by TheWrap that as a media organization, “we cannot stay static.”

“A cross-platform approach will be the tip of the spear of our evolution, and a powerful unified brand is table stakes to future-proof our mission,” he said. “It is essential that we take steps to not only serve current listeners and readers better, but to engage the public media audience of the future.”

“We here at LAist aim to stay at the forefront of innovation when it comes to being a trusted and independent resource for all, in the right places, at the right time,” he continued. “We are made of LA. We rely on Angelenos and not algorithms to tell us what’s important for them, and that’s how we frame our stories. Our new brand will be an embodiment of that unique way of covering Southern California. With this change we feel better positioned than ever to spark the audience’s curiosity, make them feel more connected with others and their community, help them understand issues that are important to their life, find ways to enjoy their city even more, and even be equipped to make a positive difference.”